HTC’s bid to ban imports of Apple products in to the US over a series of patent disputes has been blocked by authorities.
The Taiwanese giant lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, stating that Apple had violated four of its patents related to protecting data, storing contact information and managing the phone's power supply, and called for a ban on imports.
However, the commission dismissed the case, claiming Apple did not violate the patents. The case is now being appealed by HTC.
The legal battle has intensified over recent months. In July this year, the Taiwanese manufacturer was found to have infringed two iPhone patents in a case brought by Apple.
HTC general counsel Grace Lei said: ‘We are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.’
A full commission of the International Trade Commission is expected to decide in February whether to uphold or reject the judge's decision.
HTC is not the only firm in dispute with Apple over patents. In August, Apple won the latest battle in its patent war against Samsung devices after a Dutch court ruled in favour of a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones in the Netherlands and possibly another 29 European countries, forcing the company to reorganise its logistics chain in Europe accordingly.
Samsung and its mobile devices have been the subject of an aggressive campaign of litigation by Apple, which has also secured a German embargo on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.The tablet war has continued to escalate and Samsung is now seeking a ban on sales of iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan.
On 13 October Apple succeeded in gaining a temporary injunction banning the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The next day US judged ruled that Samsung's tablet had infringed some Apple patents on its iPad, but said that Apple had to prove the validity of those infringements.